Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I've Moved!

Exciting news! I've moved my blog!

Check it out at LegosAndLegacy.com
And thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 14, 2016

One Step at a Time

So I have a confession to make. I'm a HORRIBLE stay-at-home mom. Not so much in the sense that I lack the skills to take care of my house and kids, but in the sense that I'm not satisfied. The lack of adult conversation, the never-ending laundry cycle, and the mind-dulling monotony are all challenging for me. While I am CERTAIN that God wants me to spend some time at home taking care of Abie right now, I'm also pretty sure that I need an outlet for community and creativity. And since I love to write, blogging is a natural fit.

Honestly, the amount of laundry I deal with daily makes me wonder if there might be additional persons living here that
I haven't yet met.

I've been blogging off and on for 5 years now. Most of my entries have been ramblings about motherhood and stories of what my kids said or did. Recently, though, I've added in some reflections on Scripture, sharing some of what God is teaching me. And one thing God has really pounded into my brain lately is that He has created me with specific desires and gifts that are to be used for Him. So. I need to blog. I need to share my experiences, my challenges, and my "learnings" with others. Because that's one of the things God wants me to do right now.

As I've embarked on this new blogging journey, I've read countless articles and watched numerous video tutorials on how to launch a blog. Oh. My. Goodness. It's SO MUCH MORE complicated than I ever imagined. Like, buy a domain. Select a framework. Choose a child theme. Design your site. Activate plug-ins and edit your widgets. (WHAT THE HECK IS A WIDGET???!!!???).

Obviously, I'm in waaaaay over my head. So I ask 2 things of you:

#1. Read, smile, and support!
I hope you visit my new blog often, read what's there, and offer your positive feedback and support. I don't want to blog in a vacuum; I crave community!

#2. Be patient with me!
The site may not be super pretty or uber sophisticated. My links may not all work properly, and glitches may occur. I'm still learning - just taking it all one step at a time. (And if you happen to have expertise in the blogging world, feel free to HELP ME!)

So thanks for reading, following, and supporting me. I'll be back tomorrow to share the link for my new blog website! Be sure to check back then!!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Hungry, Thirsty, and Lost

For some reason, the Israelites’ 40 years of desert wandering has always fascinated me, so I read about it often. Take a look with me at Deuteronomy 8:2:

“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.”

Ever wondered about this “testing your heart” business? God is all knowing, right? He already knew their hearts! So why the test?  It occurs to me that maybe it was the people who needed to see their own hearts. God already knew, but maybe they needed a reality check. Maybe God wanted to put their faith to the test to show them how hollow it was. Or maybe God allowed difficulties to come their way in order to expose their prideful self-reliance. There’s nothing like wandering in the desert hungry, thirsty, and lost to make you realize your limitations.

Take a look at the next verse:

“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna to teach you that man does not live on bread alone, but on the word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Dt 8:3

Boom. There it is! God purposefully put the Israelites in a place of need so he could bring some things to light. Because only when they were hungry, thirsty, and lost could they truly see: 

The emptiness of their faith
They knew the right words to say. They went through the right motions. But confessing trust with your mouth and living it with your life are two very different things.

Their spiritual bankruptcy.
Despite living a lifetime of devotion to God, they were still sinful and unable to faithfully follow him.

Their complete helplessness.
In the middle of the desert, they were totally helpless to feed or clothe themselves. There was absolutely nothing they could do to meet their own needs.

The limitless wealth of God.
Their hollow faith and selfish hearts had been exposed. Their need was obvious. And God’s provision was all that was left. Ironically, it was also all they needed.

The desert: a place of desolation and struggle. But that’s exactly where God wanted them. Because now they were humble and ready to depend on him. And God didn’t disappoint! Throughout every day of their desert wandering, God met their needs.

So what about me? What about you? Walking through a desert in your own life? Feeling lonely? Scrapping the bottom of the barrel financially? Lost and without direction? God sees you. And maybe you’re exactly where God wants you. Now its’ time to let go of your prideful self-reliance, confess your limitations, and trust God. Really trust him. He’s waiting to show you his love and faithfulness in a way you never saw coming.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Following First-Hand

"Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." Jn 21:25

It's interesting to note that Jesus said and did so much more than what we know about from the gospel accounts. He was the Son of God, the Lord of Lords, and the Creator of the Universe walking around in human flesh. Everything he said and did had divine importance. But he didn't share it all with us. In a day and time where we tend to overshare our lives through social media, Jesus' approach is quite opposite. Jesus obviously didn't have social media, but if he had, his account wouldn't be one of the most active. He wouldn't post photos or tweets every time he healed or preached. He wouldn't have posted his travel plans or checked in at destinations on Facebook. He could have, certainly. He even could have commissioned someone to follow him around and record every second of each day he spent on Earth. But He didn't. For some reason, Jesus wasn't much on advertising Himself.

In fact, if we read the gospels carefully, we discover that Jesus was a bit secretive about his identity. In Mark's gospel account, we find Jesus telling some "not to tell others about him" (Mk 3:12). There may be several reasons for this "messianic secret" as theologians call it, but one specific reason stands out to me. I think Jesus wanted people to experience Him first-hand. Instead of just hearing about him, reading about him, or stalking him on Facebook, Jesus wanted people to know him. Really know him. Jesus's "secretive" nature required people to take time and effort to get to know him, to search him out, to walk beside him and figure him out. Still today, I think Jesus wants the people he created to know him personally, individually, intimately. He wants real relationships, not Facebook followers.

And that makes so much sense! Think about it. Compare seeing a picture of the Grand Canyon to actually standing on the edge of it in person. Somehow, there's a cheapness that accompanies second-hand information. But so often, that's what we settle for! We're good at hearing about it, reading a post about it, seeing images of it, and settling for surface-level familiarity. As Christians, we're great at studying about God, talking about Him, and singing about Him at church without every really meeting with him personally. And oh the fullness and richness we sacrifice when we settle for second-hand!

Go back to that pic of the Grand Canyon. When you hear a story and see a picture of matchless beauty, aren't you drawn to go see it for yourself? Absolutely. But do you go? Do you actually take the trip to experience it first-hand, or do you stop at the idea?

I have a hunch that the type of Christians that influence the world for good, that really make a mark and leave an enduring legacy, are the ones who know Jesus firsthand, not just follow him on Facebook.

Monday, September 26, 2016

But God

Check out what Paul pens in 2 Corinthians 7:5-6:

"When we came into Macedonia, we had no rest but were harassed at every turn - conflicts on the outside and fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus."

Sound familiar? Maxed out. Exhausted and overwhelmed with no rest in sight. Seems like everything and everyone are against you. Just wanna raise that white flag and be done. Just D.O.N.E.


Sometimes the most powerful words in Scripture are the smallest: BUT GOD.

I'll be the first to admit that it's tough to feel spiritual when I'm tired and overwhelmed. (Can I get a witness?!?!) And the longer the situation drags out, the worse things become!


Paul's words in 2 Corinthians remind me that in the middle of my exhaustion, God hasn't changed. He's still there. He's not tired or stressed out. In fact, He's patiently waiting to give me the comfort and rest I so need. All it takes is for me to take my eyes off my circumstances and focus on Him; to shift my mental and emotional energy from selfish sulking to God-centered praise.

Life is hard. Kids are demanding. Work is consuming. Ministry can be tiring.


He's got it all together. Always has and always will. I think I'll focus on Him today. You?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Just You

1 Kings 19.

Elijah has just had a pretty incredible experience. Facing off against hundreds of pagan priests, boldly daring them to have their god send fire to ignite the sacrifice. Watching them pray, dance, even cut themselves for hours, all to no avail. Even taunting them... "Shout louder! Maybe he can't hear you. Keep asking! Maybe he's in the bathroom and will be back in a minute!" Pretty confident. Then praying to the one true God to ignite his sacrifice. Watching with mixed shock and satisfaction as God answers in a HUGE way, completely consuming the sacrifice with fire from Heaven. Slaughtering 450 prophets of Baal. Praying for God to send rain. Feeling the raindrops as God answers, ending years of drought. It's been a big day.

But then Queen Jezebel sends word that she's after Elijah, swearing that she will get revenge, promising to find and kill him. What does Elijah do? After being so full of faith, fearlessly challenging the nay-sayers, risking everything for God's reputation, what does this mighty man of God do in response to the queen's threat? He freaks out. He flees. And God sees it all. God watches as panic takes over and drains Elijah's faith. But instead of abandoning Elijah and his fickle faith, God runs after him. God meets him and minsters to him, giving Elijah the food, water, and rest he so desperately needs. But God's not done. Elijah doesn't realize it yet, but there's something else he needs much more than physical sustenance. Don't miss what God does next.

God speaks to Elijah. Not through a gale-force wind or an earth-shattering earthquake or a consuming fire, but through a soft whisper. And in the whisper, God teaches Elijah about Himself. In the middle of a life and death situation, God stops time to reveal Himself to Elijah. Because that's what Elijah needs most. Surrounded by deadly threats, lacking the basic necessities, running for his life - Elijah needs a lot of things. Food, water, shelter, protection, encouragement. But what he needs most is God. Elijah needs God to reveal Himself. He needs a fresh encounter with the Lord of the universe who creates, sustains, and controls everything. Through this encounter, Elijah's spirit is humbled, his faith rekindled, and his purpose renewed. The challenging circumstances remain, but now Elijah remembers the complete sufficiency and matchless might of God. Is anything too difficult for the God who set the stars in the sky simply by stretching out his hand?

I now see that here and now, in the midst of my questions and worries, what I need most is not answers or provision. I need you. Just you. I need a fresh encounter with you. Reveal yourself, God. Speak to me. Show off! Split the sky, shake the ground, or just softly whisper. I'm waiting, watching, and listening for you. Because YOU are what I need. Just you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Momma Bear

I've heard moms refer to their "Momma Bear" instinct, but I've never really experienced it first hand. Until today.

So we're back in the dentist office for the 4th time in 2 weeks (and that's a whole 'nother story). Jackson is back getting a filling while I'm sitting with Abie and Levi in the waiting room. Out of nowhere, a kid that is older and meaner than Levi walks up and, without introducing himself or waving or saying hi or anything civil like that, proceeds to whip out a pair of plastic handcuffs from his pocket, grab Levi's hands, and handcuff him. Levi looks at me with pleading eyes but doesn't say anything to the boy. And I'm totally taken aback. Honestly, I wasn't really sure what to do or say. The kid's Dad was sitting 6 feet away watching the whole thing. He looked at me, looked at his kid, and then shrugged his shoulders and chuckled.

Really? Who is your kid, and why is he handcuffing my kid? Who even does that?
Now let's review. The handcuffs are plastic, so there's nothing to worry about. BUT I'm pretty sure my kid is not enjoying what's going on. And suddenly my inner "Momma Bear" awoke.

Image from unsplash.com

Momma Bear. As in I may look cute and cuddly right now, but if you keep messing with my kid, I'm gonna tear your limbs off your body. 

With my Momma Bear raging inside, I calmly looked at Levi and said, "Levi, do you like what he is doing to you?" Wide-eyed Levi shook his head. "Okay, then you need to tell him you don't want to play like that." Levi looked over at the kid and mumbled "please stop." To the kid's credit, he probably couldn't understand what Levi said, but he stopped, unhooked his handcuffs from Levi's hands, and went back over to sit with his Dad. But before I could put Abie down and talk to Levi, the kid came over again with handcuffs in hand.

This time, Momma Bear was not to be tamed. I looked at the kid and said, "You may not have heard him, but he said to please stop. So I think it's a good idea for you to go back over and sit with your Dad." The kid looked at me, looked at Levi, and then sauntered back over to his Dad. The Father never took his eyes off his iPhone. Some model parenting going on, obviously.

As soon as we got in the car, Levi and I chatted about being brave and speaking your mind, even if the person is bigger or meaner than you. I'll be transparent here: I never dreamed I would have to explicitly teach this skill of self-advocacy. Pretty sure I came of of the womb making my demands and desires clear to everyone. I've never had a problem telling others what I'm thinking, so I didn't realize this had to be taught. And thinking back, I'm glad we had that experience. It's important that my kids to learn to stick up for themselves before they're in a situation when the stakes are much higher.

PS: When I told Jackson about the incident, his response to the whole thing was, "Mom! Why did you let that kid bother Levi? You should have beat him up. I never woulda let nobody mess with my brother." Wonder how long it will be before I get a call from school saying the big brother has given someone a black eye for bothering the little brother.

PSS: For another story of a brave little learning to advocate for herself, check out this incredible kid-written blog by Ms. Ruby Witt. http://metalmouthinthesouth.blogspot.com/2016/08/ready-or-not.html

Sunday, August 21, 2016

I Bet There was Blood Everywhere!

This morning's Sunday School lesson was about the suffering of Job.

On the way home from church, I asked the boys what they learned in Sunday School. The conversation went something like this:

Me: So boys, what did you guys talk about in Sunday School today?

Jackson: We learned about a guy named Job. Lots of bad stuff happened to him.

Levi: Yeah, and a big storm came up and killed all his family 'cept him. And I bet there was blood everywhere!!!

Jackson: And Job got sick and had these sores all over his body.

Levi: Yeah! And blood was just coming out of his skin probly (that's Levi-speak for probably).

Jackson: Levi, hush. So at the end, God told Job, "Do you know how this world works? Nope. I do. So just stop whining and believe in me."

Levi: Yeah, and God probably had blood on his head and stuff, too!!

At this point, I felt like we might be focusing more on blood and gore than Biblical truth, so I stopped the conversation.  But I made a mental note to ask Levi's Sunday School teacher exactly what she taught them in Sunday School.

Being a SAHM Means...

So I'm back home again. Not that I ever really left it (makes me sound like a prodigal!), but I returned to work 2 years ago when Levi was 2 and Jackson was 4. Now that we have a new little in our family again (Welcome Abie Jay!), I'm taking a break from teaching (again), and I'm back staying at home. (And just FYI, the previous sentence is a beautiful example of a Compound-Complex sentence. See? You may leave teaching, but it never leaves you.) 

As I was piddling around the house this morning doing chores, some ironies came to mind. Some conflicting dualisms, if you will (or even if you won't, too bad!).

Being a Stay At Home Mom Means:

1. Being able to be the one who feeds sweet Abie Jay (but sometimes that feels like that's ALL I do. I mean, EVERY. OHTER. HOUR. for crying out loud. Plus it means that I'm the one who gets thrown up on. A lot.).

2. Getting a jump-start on tonight's dinner, cutting up the veggies for stiryfry ahead of time! (However, being on one income means fresh veggies for stir fry are a treat and not the norm.)

3. Having my morning Bible study - my "Quiet Time" - at 8am instead of 5:30am (but the later time means I have a buddy that helps me with Bible study, and it's no longer a "Quiet" time.).

4. Being able to wash dishes and vacuum in the middle of the day instead of at midnight. (Beware, though! Others WILL misunderstand your job description and think this is all you do. Even the hubster may be prone to ignorant remarks. Recent example: "You didn't get this celery washed and cut today? What happened?")

So let's review. These days, my hours are filled with:
- lots of making, feeding, and washing bottles
- lots of preparing, cooking, and cleaning up meals
- lots of baby snuddles (in case you don't know, that's snuggles and cuddles combined)
- lots of household chores
- lots of budget balancing and couponing

It's way different from working, and it is its own kind of hard. But I'm thankful for the opportunity, and I'll work every day to enjoy this season of life.